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Rodriguez, Verdejo Continue Streaks at The Sands Casino

by Cliff Rold

26-year old Featherweight Gamalier Rodriguez (22-2-3, 15 KO) of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, extended his winning streak to 14 straight on Saturday night at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a ten-round unanimous decision over 24-year old Jorge Pazos (14-6-1, 8 KO) of Guamuchil, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Both men came into the main event below the division limit of 126 lbs., Rodriguez at 125 and Pazos at 125 ¼.  The referee was Shawn Clark.

The difference in class was evident throughout the fight.  Rodriguez controlled the action with a quick, sharp left jab and pasted Pazos with rights behind it all night.  To his credit, Pazos stayed trying to compete all night, throwing mostly single big shots upstairs and down, but he had no real technical answers.  

It was a dominant performance for Rodriguez, fairly rewarded by the judges.  He was awarded nine rounds on two cards and eight on the other for tallies of 99-91 twice and 98-92.

It was the fourth straight loss for Pazos and his fifth loss in six starts.  Rodriguez goes ten rounds for the first time in his career.

The televised opener focused on a potential rising star.

A 2012 Olympian, 20-year old Lightweight Felix Verdejo (7-0, 5 KO), 134 ¾, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, went six rounds for the first time and scored two knockdowns en route to a unanimous decision over 34-year old Guillermo Delgadillo (4-5-1), 133 ¼, of Walla Walla, Washington.  It was the second straight defeat for Delgadillo.

The referee was Steve Smoger.

Verdejo wasted no time in asserting his superiority.  Less than twenty seconds into the fight, backing away from Delgadillo, Verdejo landed a short left to send his foe falling into the ropes and towards the floor.  Delgadillo beat the count, more embarrassed than hurt, and was outboxed the rest of the round but kept pressing.

The game Delgadillo stayed pressing as the fight wore on, landing some heavy shots in spots to make the younger man work.  Verdejo used that aggression in his favor to bookend his performance.  A counter left hook in the final round, this one much harder than the punch fired in the first, dropped Delgadillo and had him in trouble.  He’d rise again and finish the fight for the moral victory.

The victory, period, went to Verdejo on three shutout scores of 60-52.   

The card was televised in the U.S. on UniMas as part of their “Solo Boxeo” series, promoted by Top Rank and Peltz Boxing.

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

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